By MARC MCDONALD
For many of us, Countdown with Keith Olbermann is, quite simply, the best thing on television these days. It's a thought-provoking newscast that towers above the sleazy, sensationalized crap that passes for "news" on the major media channels.
Olbermann's show is like a breath of fresh air and it has made the past few years of George W. Bush's nightmarish reign at least a bit more tolerable. But there's a slight problem with Countdown that I'd like to complain about.
For some reason, Olbermann always insists on closing his show with "entertainment" news--and more often than not, it's "news" about the latest activities of Paris Hilton and Britney Spears.
(I know, I know: Olbermann is being "ironic" in his coverage of these irritating celebrities. But there's only one problem: even if you cover them from an ironic angle, Paris and Britney are so vapid that they're still boring).
Actually, I'm unclear as to why Olbermann insists on including "celebrity" news on his program in the first place. Most of us are sick to death of today's sensationalized, tabloid culture anyway. If we never heard another word about over-exposed celebrities like Paris and Britney, it'd be too soon.
By inexplicably including this dreck at the end of his program, I'd suspect that a lot of people never watch Olbermann's show to its conclusion.
And I'd like to offer a suggestion. Please, Keith: dump all "news" about Britney and Paris. Instead, use that segment on your show for something more interesting and useful.
How about something like this: "Right-Wing Lie of the Day"? Surely that alone would offer enough material for the next two decades of programs.
Or how about a regular feature called, "Today's Buzz In The Blogosphere"? Of course I'm biased, but I'd like to see more coverage of news and views from the blogosphere. CNN already has a "what's hot on the blogs" segment; it seems like such a feature would be a natural for Olbermann's show (which, no doubt, has an audience that frequents the blogosphere).
Those are just a couple of suggestions. But really, the fact is, anything would be better than devoting yet more coverage to Britney and Paris. The first time Olbermann mentioned these two vapid celebrities on his program, it might have been a bit funny to some people. Now, it's just tiresome.